#ABArare - Tropical Kingbird - Utah
by Nate Swick
On September 11, while birding near the Provo Airport in Utah County, Utah, Eric Huish discovered a Tropical Kingbird, Tyrannus melancholicus, along the dike near the airport. Pending acceptance, this is a first state record for Utah.
photo by Tim Avery, used with permission
Eric reports on the Utah Rare Birds listserv that the bird was seen this afternoon (9/11) on a fence next to the road on the South extention of the Provo Airport Dike. This spot is a well known birding site in the Provo area. Specific directions to the spot can be found on the Utah Birds website, an extraordinary resource for birding the Beehive State.
Tropical Kingbird breeds in the ABA Area only in extreme southeastern Arizona and the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas, but ranges throughout the Neotropics as far south as central Argentina. As a vagrant, it has shown up all over the continent, including not once, but twice, in Ketchikan, Alaska, and as far northeast as Maine and Quebec.
Steven Mlodinow writes in The Tropical Kingbird North of Mexico(.pdf) (NAB 52:01) that Tropical Kingbird appears on the Pacific coast in the fall as a northbound migrant. These nearly 40 records per year consist of mostly immature birds reared in northwest Mexico. The occurrence of birds in the western Interior and the east is less certain. Some are undoubtedly overshoots from the Arizona and northern Mexico populations, but Mlodinow suggests that perhaps others may be austral migrants originating from the South American population, arriving in North American much in the same way Fork-tailed Flycatchers appear annually.